The City of Redmond is giving residents the opportunity to meet their neighbors, learn more about what’s going on in their community as well as have a say in the future of where they live.
Beginning Monday and running through April, Redmond will hold a series of meetings for each of its 10 neighborhoods — the first two being Grass Lawn and Willows-Rose Hill.
Kim Dietz, a senior planner for Redmond, said as interests change and different trends come along, the meetings — which are part of the city’s new Neighborhood Network program — give city officials the chance to check in with neighborhood plans, figure out what residents need and what the city can do to address these needs. The city has been updating neighborhood plans since 1995, she said, but each time, they would start from the very beginning. The Neighborhood Network will provide city officials with a more continuous glimpse of each of Redmond’s neighborhoods.
Dietz said the neighborhood meetings will be held annually and they will take what they learn each year to refine the respective neighborhood plans every six years. Every 12 years, she added, there will be a more robust update to the plans.
In addition to providing information for city, the meetings will also provide residents with information about what is going on in their neighborhood as well as a more frequent forum for residents.
“It’s really just trying to spread the word (about Redmond neighborhoods) in as many ways as we possibly can,” Dietz said.
Redmond piloted the Neighborhood Network program last year with the Education Hill and Grass Lawn neighborhoods. In addition to the meetings, Dietz said the network will also include neighborhood stewards — citizens who people can contact with questions or concerns. The stewards will have more regular contact with the city outside of the meetings.
Stephen Cox, a steward for the Grass Lawn neighborhood, has always taken an interest in his community and had an opinion about where it is going. He said for those who want to have a say about what goes on in their neighborhood, it is important to speak up.
“If you have any concerns or care about your community you need to get involved,” Cox said.
The Neighborhood Network gives residents the opportunity to do so, he said. Cox also said the program helps residents with not being blindsided by projects and other undertakings that occur in the community.
Another method Redmond is utilizing to keep residents in the loop is social media such as Facebook. Cox approves of this because Redmond is such high-tech city and it is nice to see the city recognizes this and is using technology to its advantage.
Dietz said the Neighborhood Network can connect citizens with the city on projects designed to fix up and improve neighborhoods from planting flowers to sign restoration. The city will match the dollar amount or hours of work citizens contribute to these projects, adding that the maximum dollar amount is $5,000.
In addition, she said the Neighborhood Network can also bring neighbors together. For example, Grass Lawn residents are looking into holding a neighborhood-wide yard sale as well as a picnic.
Cox said through his involvement in network events, he has been meeting other Grass Lawn residents and getting to know them better. He said some of these individuals he’s only waved to in the past but has never learned their names till now.
David Berger, a steward for Education Hill, agrees. He said when people are out walking their dogs in his neighborhood, the animals are more known than their owners.
“Everyone knows the dogs’ names,” he said.
Through his involvement in the network, Berger has also learned more about what is going on throughout the other neighborhoods in addition to Education Hill, which he really appreciates.
“I’m just pleased the city is doing (the Neighborhood Network),” he said. “You just find out things.”
The Grass Lawn and Willows-Rose Hill neighborhood meeting is Monday in the Rose Hill Junior High School cafeteria, 13505 NE 75th St., from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Before attending or if they cannot attend, residents are asked to fill out an online questionnaire. The Grass Lawn questionnaire can be found at www.redmond.gov/Residents/Neighborhoods/GrassLawn. The Willows/Rose Hill questionnaire can be found at www.redmond.gov/Residents/Neighborhoods/WillowsRoseHill.
Dietz said the dates, times and locations of the remaining eight neighborhoods — Bear Creek, Downtown, Education Hill, Idylwood, North Redmond, Overlake, Sammamish Valley and Southeast Redmond — have not been determined yet. Each meeting will include two neighborhoods that will be paired up geographically.
To learn more about the Neighborhood Network, call (425) 556-2415 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.